Conference | Chinese Wallpaper: Trade, Technique and Taste

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on February 8, 2016

From the conference website:

Chinese Wallpaper: Trade, Technique and Taste
Coutts & Co / V & A, London, 7–8 April 2016

Detail of the painted wallpaper in the Chinese Bedroom, Belton House. ©National Trust Images/Martin Trelawny

Detail of the painted wallpaper in the Chinese Bedroom, Belton House. ©National Trust Images/Martin Trelawny

A conference on the subject of Chinese wallpaper will take place in London on 7 and 8 April 2016, with an optional excursion to Brighton on 9 April. The event is being organised jointly by the National Trust and the Victoria and Albert Museum, with generous support from Coutts & Co and the Royal College of Art.

Chinese wallpaper is a product that is finely balanced between east and west, art and design, trade and taste. It has been an important component of western interiors for about 250 years, but it has sometimes been taken for granted, literally fading into the background. However, over the last few decades the conservation of Chinese wallpapers has developed considerably. It is now also the subject of increasing scholarly interest. Traditional-style hand-made Chinese wallpaper is still being produced today and is now also in demand in China itself.

The aim of this conference is to stimulate the momentum of the research into Chinese wallpaper and to capture some of the recent findings. The papers to be presented will include European, American and Chinese perspectives and will look at Chinese wallpaper as art, as design, as cross-cultural exchange, as commodity and as material object.

The first day of the conference will be hosted by Coutts at their premises in the Strand—still containing the Chinese wallpaper acquired by banker Thomas Coutts in the late eighteenth century. The second day will be held at the Victoria and Albert Museum and will include the viewing of actual Chinese export wallpapers from the museum’s collection—the largest in the world, but much of it not normally on display. On 9 April there will be an optional excursion to the Royal Pavilion in Brighton, where Chinese wallpaper formed an important component of the Prince Regent’s decorative vision.

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T H U R S D A Y ,  7  A P R I L  2 0 1 6
Coutts & Co.

9:00  Registration and coffee

9:30  Welcome

9:40  Introduction by Margot Finn, Chair in Modern British History, University College London

9:50  Session A
• Emile de Bruijn, ‘Chinese Wallpaper: a Global Product’
• Helen Clifford, ‘From Canton via Custom House to the Country House: Chinese Wallpaper in Transit and the Role of the East India Company, 1750–1850’
• Ming Wilson, ‘Chinese Paper as Commodity’

11:05  Coffee

11:25  Session B
• Xiaoming Wang, ‘Chinese Woodblock New Year Prints and Paintings Used as Wallpaper in Europe in the Eighteenth Century’
• Friederike Wappenschmidt, ‘”Talking Chinese”? Exotic Wall Coverings in German and Austrian Castles’
• Max Tillmann, ‘Chinese Wallpapers and Sensual Exoticism at the Badenburg, Munich’

12:40  Lunch

13:30  Session C
• David Skinner, ‘Using and Marketing “Indian Pictures” in Mid-Eighteenth-Century Dublin’
• Clare Taylor, ‘“A Large Assortment of Curious India Paper”: the Eighteenth-Century English Market for Chinese Wallpaper’
• Patrick Conner, ‘Chinese Wallpaper and Cantonese Export Painting: The Strathallan ‘Drummond’ Wallpaper (Peabody Essex Museum)’

14:45  Tea

15:05  Session D
• Anna Wu, ‘The Chinese Wallpapers at Coutts & Co., London: Mobilising Images of Chinese Life and Industry’
• Sarah Cheang, ‘Red, Black and Gold, and as Glossy as Possible: Modernism, Orientalism, Fashion and Wallpaper’
• Lizzie Deshayes, title TBC [Chinese wallpaper today as produced by Fromental]
• Dominic Evans-Freke, title TBC [Chinese wallpaper today as produced by De Gournay]

F R I D A Y ,  8  A P R I L  2 0 1 6
Victoria and Albert Museum

10:00  Registration and coffee

10:25  Welcome by Anna Jackson, Keeper, Asian Department, Victoria and Albert Museum

10:30  Session E
• Andrew Bush, ‘Early Full-Height Block-Printed Chinese Wallpapers in the United Kingdom’
• Thomas Brain, ‘Observations made during the Conservation Treatment of Chinese Landscape Wallpaper at Oud Amelisweerd’
• T. K. McClintock, ‘Chinese Export Wallcoverings: their Conservation as Western and Asian Works’

11:45  Coffee

12:05  Session F
• Allyson McDermott, ‘The Conservation of Chinese Wallpapers’
• Pauline Webber, ‘The Conservation and restoration of Chinese Wallpapers: an Overview’

13:10  Lunch

14:00 Viewing Sessions
Four sessions for viewing Chinese wallpapers (with change-overs)

17:10  Drinks

S A T U R D A Y ,  9  A P R I L  20 1 6
Royal Pavilion, Brighton

Optional excursion, travel under own steam, meeting at Royal Pavilion entrance at 11:30, where you will be met by curator Alexandra Loske and paper conservator Amy Junker-Heslip.

Abstracts and speakers’ biographies are available here»

Booking information is available here»


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